Tuesday, April 28, 2009

baby pants

As soon as it started to get sunny I knew Jack was going to need some lightweight long pants that wouldn't be too hot, but keep his sweet little baby skin protected.  So I turned to this book, which I've had forever, but most of the projects seem to require much more time than this mama of four has these days.  So these little kimono pants, they're called, seemed like something quick and easy, and something he desperately needed. 
I repurposed an old tote bag that I made for Rye a year or so ago, and he never really got into using it.  The bag was made with three quarter yards of coordinating prints on each side, so the middle seams of my pants were already sewn together, I just had to cut the right amount for the trim, and I chose to alternate the prints (so the trim on the front is opposite the back, and right opposite the left) because I do love any sort of pant that reminds me of clown pants.  Yes, I do.  Everyone needs at least one pair of busy pants, right?  I may tone it down a bit on the next go around, though.

I found the pattern really simple and easy to follow.  I made the 9-12 month size (Jack is 6 months old), added an inch in length, but am finding the crotch/bum area to be a little more fitted than I would like. Something to consider if you have a round little one like mine, or if you cloth diaper.   I'll definitely add a little more room to the crotch when I make this again, but I'm pretty happy with how they've turned out.
And look what else is new here!  Front teeth!  Yep, the little guy now has top and bottom chompers.  He's had an awful time teething, probably more so than any of my others, and could probably use a lesson or two on the things we bite and the things we don't.... but like most milestones, I'm sure it's a much bigger deal to me than to him.  No more toothless grins, another of the newborn characteristics that I see fading every day.  Luckily my boy seems to be in no great hurry to grow up (or even sit up) and that is perfectly all right with me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

princess & the pea

Finally! We had some cool days and I really wanted to photograph this dress outside, but we made do. Apple actually had a brilliant idea: "Mommy, why don't we get a bed and you can take my pictures like I'm the real Princess-in-the-Pea!" So cute. And I only cringed a little bit when she wanted to lie on all of my precious Far Far Away fabrics with her sandy toes.
It was so much fun to see this fabric take life, and I love the drape of the double gauze. So fun, especially if you have a girl who loves to twirl.

In hindsight there are a lot of things I'd do differently with this dress, and with the double gauze in general. I think in the future I'll really put more thought into the pattern I'm using to make sure the double gauze would be the best choice. I really wanted to use it on this dress, as Apple and I both love this style, but since the halter top requires lining I wouldn't do it this way again. I lined it with a coordinating Heather Ross polka dot, which really shows through the top and takes a little bit away from the beautiful outer fabric. I'd probably suggest if you choose a project that has to be lined to line it with a solid color double gauze, which I found at Superbuzzy. It's expensive, but I think the results would probably be worth it.

I've also heard a lot about the "stretchiness" of this fabric. It does have quite a bit more give than a quilting weight cotton, and even though I prewashed the fabric, I still encountered some problems, particularly in parts of the dress that required fabric cut on the bias. I normally never have any problems doing a simple hem, or side seams of a skirt, but I really had to almost fight to keep my fabrics aligned when sewing the skirt of this dress together, because of the bias cut. Something else to keep in mind when choosing a pattern.

All in all I'm pretty pleased, and can't wait to try double gauze again, maybe in a dress for myself for summer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


froggy, originally uploaded by varenia.

Rye is studying a unit on frogs, can you tell?

Oh, and by the way, it's Wacky Wursday! We are wearing our finest wackies today, how about you?!

birthday girl

Apple's other special request, a yellow dress with a "touch" of pink and red.  She loooves how this dress turned out, and even slept in it yesterday.  I, on the otherhand, had a different idea I guess, because I wasn't thrilled with the dress.  I like it, but somehow the end product isn't quite in alignment with my vision, although I have yet to figure out where I went wrong.  Oh well, she likes it, and in fact is already putting her order in for her birthday dress when it's her "five birthday".  

Her birthday wouldn't be complete without some "apple" gifts, and the sweet blouse (above) was a custom creation from Victoria of Free Range Baby.  I discovered her shop while searching for some birthday gifts, and am so impressed with the quality, craftsmanship, and beautiful packaging.

Rye worked forever on such a special card for his sister, complete with all of the things she loves:  piggies, flamingoes, apples, hearts, flowers, balloons, sunshine, and cake.  I am loving that the children are getting old enough to make and plan and surprise each other.  Probably my best memories of this birthday was all of the "hush hush", planning, surprising, and thought that went into it, especially by Rye and Piper.  
I honestly never imagined four years ago that this girl would be so amazing.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

birthday prep

baking, originally uploaded by varenia.

Last night we stayed up sooooo late (like, 9 pm! hey, that's late for my sleepy kids) finishing Apple's special cake. She's been asking for this cake for about 6 months, for her birthday. A chocolate cake with a very yellow frosting.

So Richard, Master Cake Baker, planned, purchased, and baked with the littles til the wee hours. After a whole evening's excitement and looking forward to her Birthday Dinner, Apple eagerly dove into her yellow-and-chocolate concoction. And hated it.

I had a feeling she would, as she gets older I can't help but notice how similar we are, even down to our tastes in food.

Anyway, Happy Happy Birthday to my Apple girl. Because, you know her feet touch the ground now when she's sitting at the picnic table. And to her that means four.

More birthday goodness to come... later. Must nap now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bib dress

bib dress, originally uploaded by varenia.

Sometimes my favorite shots end up being the outtakes... I really can't use this one to showcase the dress, but boy, does it make me smile! Even when the girl herself is having a knockdown, dragout meltdown (as she currently is at this exact moment that I am blissfully ignoring~ oh, wait... yep, she's asleep now) I can look at a photo like this one and see that cheeky little smirk and those golden highlights some people, ahem, would pay good money for~ and I feel so lucky to have a daughter like her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a birthday in the works

So, I finally cut into my coveted Far, Far Away Fabrics. Apple's birthday is next week, and I've got many things in the works. Like four dresses. (For four years old, of course). Two of the dresses she knows about, being her special requests: this one (princess and the pea) she's been asking for ever since she saw the fabric, and she has requested a "yellow sun dress with just a touch of red and pink, Mama". The girl knows what she wants, so I'm going to try to give it to her. Then there'll be two more dresses she's not expecting, one based on this book (which she is also receiving) and then an apple themed dress, for obvious reasons.

Here's a couple of peeks at dress number one. I cannot get over how cute that little princess is. She slays me. I took great measure to place her perfectly in this dress too, even though it ended up costing me more fabric than I wanted. She was worth it.

I'm glad I chose this print on the white background instead of the pink; Apple's skin is already so tan and toasty just from being outside the last few days, I think the light color is really going to pop on her.

Here's the inside of the bodice, more Heather Ross fabrics. I love the two together, the only thing I'm not loving is the fact that the double gauze is quite see through, and you can see the dots through the front of the dresses bodice, which I'm not crazy about, but I had to line it because you see, Apple really is the Princess and the Pea. The most sensitive kid ever. As much as she loves the fabric there was no way she was putting it on her tummy because it was too itchy. (Nevermind the fact that this fabric is the softest thing ever). I'm hoping I can ease her into the idea with this one and then make her another dress using double gauze and won't have to line it. But until then...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

spring fling

spring fling, originally uploaded by varenia.


The shop is not empty anymore! I had to re-take these photos, and although I'm still not 100% in love with them, they are much better than the original photo shoot.

I'm hoping to have more women's goodness (home goods as well as apparel) in by the end of the month.

Friday, April 10, 2009

sleeping bunnies

sleeping bunnies, originally uploaded by varenia.

See the little bunnies, sleeping in a row
Oh the little bunnies, how I love them so.
Oh so still, Are they ill?
Then hop up little bunnies, hop hop hop
Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop
Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop
Hop little bunnies, hop hop STOP!

Go to sleep, bunnies.

Does anyone else sing this rhyme with their kiddos? It's my children's favorite (and one of those rare few things that they all enjoy, whether they're 6 or 6 months.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

weekend sewing wip

weekend sewing wip, originally uploaded by varenia.

I'm working on the Kai Shirt from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing. LOVE that book! I still need to add the buttons and hem it, but I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out, despite a few collar complications along the way. This is the 12 month size, and despite the fact that Jack is wearing 12 months on store bought shirts, this is still far from fitting him. My guess is that it will probably fit him closer to when he actually turns one.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

new dress, new sizes

plum picnic, originally uploaded by varenia.

Finally, a new dress for the shop. And new sizes, too. I have been inundated with requests for dresses in smaller (infant) sizes for baby showers, christenings, and birth gifts, and I'm so excited to be able to offer them now.

I love the unexpected colors and large scale print in this fabric, so unique and exquisite.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Far, Far Away Giveaway

Here it is, some of the beautiful new fabric from Heather Ross' Far, Far Away line! I am completely smitten with these prints, and even more so after discovering there may not be a new line for a while...

If you're looking to get your hands on some a.s.a.p. Whipstitch is hosting the most clever giveaway ever. You must check it out! (Snail racing is all I'm gonna say!)